How to Rank Your Website Higher On Google: Part 2Posted on January 26, 2022
In Part 1 of our SEO series, our Director of SEO helped break down how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works and how to make sure local consumers can find your website.
This week’s episode goes more into detail about how standard SEO practices work to bring in more leads and EXACTLY how you can start implementing tactics to get your business’s website ranked on Google…
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Here’s the transcription below of today’s episode, a conversation between our Director of Multimedia Content, Peyton, and Johnny, PostcardMania’s Online Product Delivery Manager:
Note: This transcription has been edited slightly for clarity.
Peyton: Hey. Hi. Hello. Welcome back to Small Business Owners of America-Marketing Edition. My name is Peyton, your host. And before we begin this episode, I need to tell you that this is Part Two of an episode about SEO, or search engine optimization. So if you haven’t already, go back and listen to Part One (Episode 8) so that you are all caught up, and get all of that great information about SEO for your marketing.
Okay, you’re all caught up now? Great. Last episode, we left off with Jacqueline telling us ways that we can optimize our website to rank higher on Google. Now, I’m going to plop you right back into that interview where we left off.
Peyton: Now, we love talking about Google because it is the most used search engine. Should I consider other search engines, like Bing, I guess, when starting SEO?
Jacqueline: So, yes, you’re right, Peyton. Most conversations about SEO are centered on Google, because Google holds about 90% of the market share when it comes to search engines. And, yeah, you hear Bing a lot. Bing only has about 7% market share, Yahoo even less, around barely 2%. So Google is usually the primary focus. That said, if you’re optimizing your website for Google, you’re also going to be optimizing it for Bing, too.
Jacqueline: Yeah. There’s nothing that’s super specific to Bing that you’d only do for Bing and not for Google and vice versa. So if you’re working on search engine optimization, it’s broad. It’s going to be for search engines in general.
Peyton: Okay. And whenever I’m talking about a topic in marketing and, for small businesses, time… There’s a lot of aspect of time and how fast things are going to happen, and, “When am I going to see results?” Or, “When am I going to see this improve?” How much time does SEO take? Will I see results overnight?
Jacqueline: Definitely not. SEO is a long-term marketing game. It’s not something you’re going to see results overnight from. We always recommend at least six months of SEO services, with results taking anywhere from six to 12 months.
Now, that said, that’s a very general timeline. There’s no way for me to tell you when X website can see results from SEO, because it’s dependent on a lot of different things. For example, sometimes we get clients and they’re brand new businesses. If you’re a brand new business with no previous website, no previous online presence, it’s going to take time to get some traction going with Google. Again, Google has to find your website, they have to index it, find out what it’s relevant for. That’s going to take longer to start seeing results from than an established website that’s already ranking well for some relevant keywords.
And I do want to mention here, since we’re on the topic of, “When can I see results?” There are some SEO agencies out there that try to guarantee results. “We guarantee you’ll be on page one for 50 keywords within a month.” That’s kind of a red flag, because can you predict what Google’s thousands of mysterious algorithms are going to do?
Peyton: No, nobody can.
Jacqueline: No, nobody can. So how are they guaranteeing it?
Jacqueline: It’s not really possible. And, yeah, maybe they’ll get you ranking for some keywords on the first page, but what even are those keywords? Are they even anything? Is anyone searching for them? Are they relevant for your business? Also, some agencies that make those kinds of guarantees to get quick results, they could be doing some shady things when it comes to SEO.
Peyton: Not us. Not PostcardMania.
Jacqueline: Not us. We’d never do that. So I just want to say that for all the small business owners out there, please be wary of SEO agencies offering ranking guarantees.
Peyton: Right, definitely. And another question that I’m sure a lot of small businesses would ask or will ask, is, “Is SEO expensive comparative to all of the other marketing aspects that I want to do for my small business?”
Jacqueline: Yeah. So SEO is not going to be one of the cheapest marketing tactics that you do, because it takes a lot of knowledge, time, and effort. It’s not something where you can just throw a few hundred dollars at it one time and then you’re good to go for a few years. I mean, no marketing should really be like that, but there are some more quick-win marketing tactics you could use, and SEO just isn’t one of them. It has to be done consistently.
And if you’re paying $200 a month for an SEO service, odds are it’s probably not going to be that great of a service. Some of the lower cost SEO options might have content writers that English isn’t their first language, the content won’t be very high quality. Some companies actually duplicate content across hundreds of websites.
Peyton: That’s a nightmare.
Jacqueline: I’ve seen that a lot with small businesses.
Peyton: Oh, no.
Jacqueline: Yeah. Especially for niche-specific marketing firms, like a dental marketing agency or a home-buying marketing agency. And they just put the same exact content on hundreds of websites, which, from an SEO perspective, if Google sees the same content on 200 websites, it’s only going to care about one. It’s not actually helping you out in the long run.
Peyton: Now, we talked about the cost of SEO, but is SEO going to bring my small business leads, revenue, and income?
Jacqueline: That’s a really great question. So, obviously, the goal of any marketing strategy is to bring in leads. Postcards, you want to tie directly to leads. Google ads, you want to bring in all those conversions. So, with SEO, the great thing about it is that we can try and capture buyers at many different stages of their journey.
So if they’re, say, in the informational phase, they’re researching. “What is this product? What is the service?” Hey, guess what, your website has a blog post about that. So they’re just doing research, but they found your website because we wrote a great blog post about that exact topic. So they come read it, and maybe they’re not ready to buy it, but they leave.
But they were on your website, so then maybe when they’re ready to purchase, if they are buyers who are in that exact stage at that point in their journey, and then they’re Googling “Dentist near me,” they’re not in the research phase anymore. They’re ready to book that appointment, they’re ready to make that purchase or to reach out to a business about whatever they’re looking for, and then they find you.
So there are a couple of different ways that SEO efforts can capture leads. So if someone is just searching for a keyword and they click on your organic search result. Probably should have mentioned this sooner, but any searches out that’s not paid is referred to as organic. That’s just any of the text listings in Google. So they click on that, they come to your website, and they could fill out your contact form, they could give you a call, whatever your call to action is on your website, they could do that. Also for local businesses, your Google Business Profile is going to power local conversions, so they can call you directly from Google. They can click on your address and visit your business directly from Google. Then they can also visit your website and see what you’re all about there. So yes, SEO is definitely geared towards gaining leads through search engines.
Peyton: And how can I stay ahead of my competition? Is it writing those blogs, consistently working on that website, or is it something else?
Jacqueline: Yeah, so in terms of content, you definitely want to be producing content on a regular basis, but not to the point where you’re just doing it for the sake of producing content. So years back, it used to be quantity over quality. “Let’s publish one to two blog posts per week just because we need to.” But it might actually not be helpful content.
Now, the focus has shifted and all the content produced should be driven by a keyword strategy. So you need to do a lot of keyword research, a lot of competitor research to kind of help guide you on what content you need to be creating. And it’s okay if you’re not hitting a blog post every single week, as long as you’re producing helpful content that’s targeting keywords, that’s relevant to your business. That’s what’s really important.
Peyton: Thanks, that’s a good point. And Jacqueline, in every episode, I pretty much ask, is this something I or a small business can do myself or themselves?
Jacqueline: Technically, yes, anyone could spend hours poring over SEO guides and research and testing things on websites that they own. However, it’s very time-consuming, and there’s a lot to it. We’ve all spent years learning SEO and working on websites and seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t work, seeing what works for certain industries. So yes, SEO is something that is self-taught, but you’d have to be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and effort to it, and a lot of small business owners just don’t have the time to do that themselves. Plus, we use a lot of really awesome tools, but you have to pay for them. So our keyword research tools are paid, our local SEO rank tracking tools are paid. So there’s also an additional investment you have to make into some SEO tools, and I won’t even get into the time it takes to learn at least five SEO tools that we use on a daily basis.
Peyton: Oh gosh. Yes. And again, if I am a roof cleaning or a pressure washer cleaning service, you’re out there on the job every day. You’re doing what you’re a professional in. And we have professionals who are SEO trained. You don’t want to take time away from what you’re good at to try to figure out something when you can hire a company who is excellent at what they do, and at the end of the day, can get your website ranked higher than maybe you could have done by yourself.
Jacqueline: Exactly. Yeah, and if you’re a full-time business owner and you’re spending maybe an hour or two on SEO a week, maybe a month, that’s not going to be very beneficial, versus if you just left it up to the professionals. And I will say Google is notoriously secretive about everything, but even Google now recommends hiring professional SEOs to help your website because they know that it’s difficult and they know that there’s a lot to it. And a business owner shouldn’t have to worry about those things themselves.
Peyton: Right. Now Jacqueline, is there any advice that you would give to a small business, something that they could maybe do, or key tip when it comes to SEO?
Jacqueline: Yes. So if you’re a local business, 100%, you need that Google Business Profile. You need to claim it. You need to optimize everything on it, make sure your website link is correct, your phone number, your address matches exactly what’s on your website. Write a great business description. Add photos of your staff, of the interior and exterior of your business. Add as much as you can to that profile, so it helps you stand out among competitors. And in addition to that, if you’re vetting SEO agencies, if you’re trying to find the right one, just try and do your due diligence.
I know it’s difficult if you don’t know everything about SEO, but be wary of guarantees for rankings. Be wary of agencies that you’re not sure if they have your best interest in mind. PostcardMania, our number one goal is to literally help small businesses be the best they can at marketing.
Jacqueline: So we believe in your business, and we wanna help you succeed. Not all SEO agencies out there are like that.
Peyton: Yeah, at the end of the day, we want you to get leads. We want you to have clients and customers so that your small business can succeed. Well, thank you, Jacqueline, for joining me today and broadly telling us and everybody listening what SEO is and why you need it for your small business. If you liked what we had here on the podcast, you can find more info at postcardmania.com/googlerank.
And always remember to follow us on our social media at PostcardMania on Facebook and Instagram, and go to our website. It’s pretty nice, you guys. We rank pretty high on Google, I’m not gonna lie. And come back next week for more marketing tips and tricks to help your small business.
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